CWF in The American Spectator

Posted by Matt Patterson on Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 11:25 am - Permalink

Olivia Grady, Research Fellow at the Center for Worker Freedom, had an article published in The American Spectator on May 19, 2017, about the possible upcoming Supreme Court cases involving agency fees:

On May 23, 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. It was a terrible decision for worker freedom, and advocates for freedom have been trying to overturn it ever since.

The controversy prompting the case started, because Michigan law allowed unions to become the exclusive representatives of state employees. These workers had to pay union dues for this representation or agency fees, even if they were not union members. The fees purportedly only covered the cost of collective bargaining, not political spending, though the unions determined what the “collective bargaining” costs were.

After the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act was amended in 1965, the Detroit Board of Education held an election and the Detroit Federation of Teachers won an election and agreed to a collective-bargaining contract with the board on July 1, 1969.

Two months before the agreement was to become effective, though, on November 7, 1969, Christine Warczak, a Detroit schoolteacher for seven years, and other teachers sued the board, the union, and union officials in state court. The teachers didn’t want to pay agency fees and didn’t want collective bargaining in the public sector. The plaintiffs urged the state court to find the agency fees invalid under state and federal law, specifically the First and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution.

To read the full article, please click here.